Thursday, October 16, 2008

Math is not my Friend

I suck at math. The post about how many people turned out to vote doesn't even make stupid sense. I just looked at it and the numbers don't add right.... ugh.... I will NEVER post again about stats stuff. Political stuff that is all opinions and not based on facts, sure. Numbers I think not. However, no one did catch it....


Just thought I'd post some artwork that I admire very much.

The artist is Shepard Fairey.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Canada Elects

The Canadian election is over and the Conservative Party of Canada has won, but produced a minority government. I have been thinking throughout this election of just how many people would vote. It always seemed like no one voted. So I've added up the numbers of how many votes the parties received and compared it to Stats Canada figures.

10,562,956 people voted in this election. The conservative government received 5,204,468 votes that resulted in a win of 143 seats out of a possible 308 seats. This means it took 49.27% of the people who voted to provide us with a minority government (for non-Canadians, there were three other parties who won seats in the house of commons and a plethora of smaller parties who did not win any seats but still campaigned and received votes).

The population of Canada was 33,311,400 as of July 1st, 2008. That provides an average of 31.7% of Canadians actually turning out to the polls. But wait, that is the total population that includes people who are not old enough to vote. The breakdowns I could find from Stats Canada were not too specific, but according to their charts for 2001, there were roughly 8 million people under the age required to vote. If you pop that number into the equation than the percentage of people voting jumps to 71.6%. That is a lot by any standard!

I'm not a statistician, but these numbers are likely very close. What is important here is that I was wrong in my earlier opinions that people don't vote in Canada. They do. The Conservative Party won, and people voted for them. My problem -which is not discussed here- is that Canada is voting locally for a federal leader. The Bloc Party SHOULD NOT be allowed to run in a federal election. How is it just that Quebecers vote for a provincial party that has no input in the matters of other provinces and yet their same votes affect the outcome of a federal election that all other provinces vote in! If the Bloc did not run in these federal elections the Conservative Party would still have won. I am fine with that because the majority of Canadians voted for them. I believe in the democratic system. BUT I do not agree with groups that CANNOT run federally still compete against federal parties in provincial ridings.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sketching the Past: Illustrations in Archaeology

The following is an excerpt from a paper I'm working on. The paper is entitled: Sketching the Past: Illustrations in Archaeology. The main thesis is that scientific illustrations are problematic and deserve better attention. Further, these illustrations hold connotations that many take for granted. This is primarily a theoretical paper. Below is the discussion I wrote for the first step in any illustration, the visualization of an object(s).

One must first see what they are drawing before they set pencil to paper. This is the process of visualizing. An artist needs to stare intently at the object(s) before them. The totality of the image is viewed. Questions such as shape and size are studied, along with the object’s color and where shadowing occurs or doesn’t.

An artifact is not just an artifact, and by staring intently one can understand this. What this statement implies is that an artifact, or any object for that mater, is a jigsaw of colors, shadows, and lines. The eye must become comfortable with the object by staring at it and getting to know it.

An analogy might help in describing this problem. A person driving an automobile does not generally note all the intricacies of everything that they pass; signs tend to blend into one another and only the general outline or meaning is remembered or acted upon. A stop sign will register with a driver to halt the vehicle, but the actual image of the sign likely fades from his or her memory fairly rapidly. For an archaeologist, we cannot treat artifacts in such a manner. While sorting through artifacts, we cannot treat them like road signs at 50km an hour. Instead we should take a leisurely walk. The past deserves such attention.

Visualization of artifacts at the beginning of an illustration forces the archaeologist to take a walk with frequent breaks. Visualization forgoes the speeding past road signs. The eye is forced into looking at one artifact for a suspended period of time. The eye relaxes and the artifact becomes a familiar shape, not some alien object that becomes rapidly tossed into Ziploc coffins.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Poster for Illustrations

These posters were created for advertising my work. If you are interested in commissioning me for an illustration, leave me a reply on here and I will respond back. Specifically these posters are aimed at scientific illustrations, but I'm game for almost anything.